PhD Oregon State University
MS Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW
Plants and especially trees are often perceived as almost permanent sculptures of the landscape; their sessile lifestyle reinforcing the popular misconception of plants having a limited ability to sense and respond to the world around them. Recent studies suggest a quite different view. My research on long distance transport phenomena in plants has uncovered an entirely new suite of dynamic processes that place the hydraulic properties of plant under physiological control. The presence of multiple mechanisms for fast (seconds to minutes) and spatially distributed (roots, stems and leaves) autonomous flux control allows plants to redistribute and utilize resources in a highly optimal way across thousands of organs, despite the lack of central processing unit and discrete nervous system. This ability allows even the largest tree to function as an integrated organism. My goal is to understand how the emergent properties of the vascular transport system enables plants to optimize resource utilization despite temporal and spatial heterogeneity in their environment.
- Secchi, F. and M.A. Zwieniecki. 2010. Patterns of PIP gene expression in Populus trichocarpa during recovery from xylem embolism suggest a major role for the PIP1 aquaporin subfamily as moderators of refilling process. Plant Cell and Environment 33:1285–1297.
- Zwieniecki, M.A. and N.M. Holbrook. 2009. Confronting Maxwell’s demon: biophysics of xylem embolism repair. Trends in Plant Science 14:530–534.
- Boyce, C.K., T.J. Brodribb, T.S. Field, and M.A. Zwieniecki. 2009. Angiosperm leaf evolution was physiologically and environmentally transformative. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 276: 1771–1776.
- Gorska, A., Q. Ye, N.M. Holbrook, and M.A. Zwieniecki. 2008. Nitrate control of root hydraulic properties in plants: Translating local information to whole plant response. Plant Physiology 148: 1159–1167.
- Zwieniecki, M.A., T.J. Brodribb, and N.M. Holbrook. 2007. Hydraulic design of leaves: insights from rehydration kinetics. Plant Cell and Environment 30: 910–921.
- Zwieniecki, M.A., H. Stone, A. Leigh, C.K. Boyce, and N.M. Holbrook. 2006. Hydraulic design of pine needles: one-dimensional optimization for single-vein leaves. Plant, Cell and Environment 29, 803–809.
- Boyce, C.K., M.A. Zwieniecki, G.D. Cody, C. Jacobsen, S. Wirick, A.H. Knoll, and N.M. Holbrook. 2005. Evolution of xylem lignification and hydrogel transport regulation. Proceedings of National Academy of Science 101:17555–17558.
- Zwieniecki, M.A., C.K. Boyce, and N.M. Holbrook. 2004. Hydraulic limitations imposed by crown placement determine final size and shape of Quercus rubra L. leaves. Plant, Cell and Environment 27:357–365.
- Zwieniecki, M.A., P.J. Melcher, and N.M. Holbrook. 2001. Hydrogel control of xylem hydraulic resistance in plants. Science 291:1059–1062.
- 2010-2013 Principal Investigator, National Science Foundation: “Collaborative Research: Seeing the forest with the leaves—inferring plant habit and ecophysiology from leaf fossils”
- 2009-2012 Principal Investigator, National Science Foundation: “Understanding xylem refilling: molecular and biophysical perspectives”
- 2009-2012 Co-Principal Investigator, AFOSR: “Plant-mimetic heat pipes for operation with large inertial and gravitational stresses”
- Dr. Francesca Secchi